The artists of Ancient Egypt reached a level of sophistication and technical mastery unsurpassed by other early peoples. They perfected a style which was less naturalistic than that later employed by the Greeks and Romans but which is particularly fascinating to the modern eye because of its combination of realistic and symbolic elements. This book aims to help the reader to such an understanding, concentrating particularly on points that may puzzle the modern western viewer. The principles of representation underlying Egyptian art, which differ fundamentally from western conventions rooted in perspective, are elucidated and the materials and methods used by the artists described. Of great importance was the technique of drawing a squared grid over the surface to be decorated, and the use of this grid system as an aid for obtaining correct proportions is explained, together with its influence on the composition of whole scenes. A chapter is devoted to the fascinating and highly individual work produced during the reign of the heretic king Akhenaten.
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Dr Gay Robins studied Egyptology at the University of Durham as an undergraduate and then went to Oxford to undertake research on queens of the Eighteenth Dynasty, obtaining a DPhil in 1981. From 1979 to 1983 she was the Lady Wallis Budge Research Fellow in Egyptology at Christ's College, Cambridge. She is now Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art in the Art History Department at Emory University and Faculty Consultant for Ancient Egyptian Art in the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory.
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